The Best of YOU!

The Best of YOU!

Best Health, Best Weight, Best Person with 4 Easy Techniques.

A few weeks back I had a post on my Facebook sight about giving the world what is the best of you and not the rest of you. I guess this appealed to me as quite often I am running on the mere scent of fuel rather than feeling fuelled. Trying to be all things to many and feeling like I am falling down on many fronts. Or to give a different picture, feel like I am about to ‘face plant’ while rushing between tasks and people.

You know those times when you have your job goal, your family needs that are functional and then those emotional requirements that get put upon you. “Mum my brother won’t get out of the bathroom. Dad you said you would fix the bike, mum you will now have to drive me…I can’t let Lucy down I promised her I would help her….” And so it goes on.

You want to be supportive to friends, show love to family, hit those KPI’s at work but you feel your energy lag. By the end of the day you collapse and just crave a solid nap.

Put Your Mask ON!

This is when I realized how important that aeroplane analogy can be in everyday life (and not just when getting our boarding instructions to a long awaited or dreamed of holiday). If you don’t have oxygen you won’t be able to help anyone else.

If we mere mortals don’t look after ourselves first, we have less and less to give those we care about.

As our weight increases, or our health declines our energy depletes and pretty soon we are giving our best but it is pretty much just whatever is left in the ‘tank’ to those we care about.

So we need to really look after our body and mind first. Take time to put on our ‘mask’ so that we can be present and available to those that need us.

Below I have listed 4 important techniques to prevent us from giving less because we gave up our ‘oxygen’.

Technique 1 – Emotional Care

Are you paying attention to your self-talk? Quite often the overwhelm we feel sees us doubt and criticise ourselves. This is usually done with a positive intent but rarely has a desirable outcome.

Just last week I was working with a gentleman that was extremely hard on himself. He was trying to be all things to everyone. Main breadwinner, be available to his kids, a loving husband. Yet his feeling of overwhelm was so much he turned to the biscuit tin as a distraction.

How much healthier would it have been to have a better conversation in his head. Some self-praise for what he had achieved instead. Note the wins, if you are constantly criticising yourself you’re going to feel pretty bad as there will always be something. Instead focus on what can you do next time to improve. This changes the frame, takes out the negative emotion and increases the likelihood that next time you will do something different.

Our emotions can affect all our daily life. Ever seen an upbeat person and think wow, they are so energetic!

Technique 2 – How are you Fuelling Your Body?

What are you actually putting into your body? Are you full of carbs for a quick burst of energy and then feel deflated when you have ‘burned’ through it? Those insulin peak and troughs can affect not just your physical energy but you emotional energy as well.

We need to put in those micronutrients as well. You wouldn’t put water in the petrol tank and hope for a good performance.

Downing a donut is not going to keep you boosted for long. More than likely you are going to feel the energy drop, not really feel satiated and probably be frustrated and looking for something else to give you a jump start.

Try eating more green and coloured fruit and veges, find them bland? Add some spices. Remember we need protein too to help us feel full, so low fat meat, chicken and fish are alternatives. Want to stick with your vegan option, nuts and legumes or just google yummy vegan dishes to make it simple. Make that internet a healthy help not a distraction to your health.

Technique 3 – Move it!

Yes I know I have written about this before but just move more and more each day – like the movie said “I have to move it, move it”. Pick a fun activity and just do it. You don’t need to be an Olympic champion, you don’t even need to be good at it.

If you enjoy dance why not try a Zumba class, I guarantee that there will be others with 2 left feet and poor hip action. If you like walking, pop on some headphones and walk with purpose. This doesn’t have to be for a long time but a slow meander waiting for your dog to sniff at every tuft of grass isn’t going to do a lot for either of your health or weight.

A little movement gets those hormones pumping, help body functions to become regular and burn a few calories, so you can enjoy more of that sometime food.

Technique 4 – You Time

This may well be the most difficult thing to do. I have spoken about limiting beliefs so many times and worked with people that have had many of them to the extent that the 3 techniques above just don’t seem possible.

So you need to get creative here. You time may be a 20 min mediation, it maybe when you walk the dog you make it more fun; one of my clients listens to a good book. Hello multi-tasking.

You time is not doing your emails, while having a coffee, or calling a friend while folding washing or driving home.

You time needs to take you out of your work zone, pressure areas, or activities causing overwhelm. The best race horses get rest time. I bet you even tell friends they need to slow down.

These times are not self-indulgent. They are replenishing  like the start of the blog states – so you are able to give the best of you! To be available for those important conversations with your kids or partner.

Maybe some standards have to slip for a while, the meals are healthy but less fancy, the washing gets done later or far be it you ask for help. But I put it to you that a healthier, more energetic less stressed you will be more available. You will be more creative, and influential than the frenetic, overweight, fatigued option

Why not give the best of YOU. After all how do you want to be remembered?

Binge eating and 3 ways to interrupt this unhealthy habit

Binge eating and 3 ways to interrupt this unhealthy habit.

Is your weight creeping up with Bingeing?

Who of us doesn’t know someone that has, at some stage, partaken in Binge eating? Maybe you have tried it yourself. There are times when we want to reward ourselves, so something we have been denied may be used as a ‘comfort’ food, others may use it as some sort of self-flagellation.

Whatever the cause, eating disorders are on the rise. 4.0% of Australians have an eating disorder according to the Butterfly foundation in a 2012 study. Of this number, 47% have a Binge eating disorder, with both males and females equally having this problem.

The beauty of what I do is that, quite often, we don’t need to know how this all started, or what the precipitating cause was. Often however, such causes are realized as we go through some of the more advanced techniques. But for those of us who have experienced binge eating at odd moments or who have sugar cravings and a tendency to overindulge, this article is for you.

I am going to outline 3 very simple ways to interrupt the urge to binge eat so that you will have other options and choices. By doing these really easy things, you can prevent weight changes, mitigate the negative impacts upon your health and prevent food from taking over your life.

Why is it important to interrupt your binge eating?

There are, of course, the obvious suggestions; that binge eating causes weight fluctuations, it can affect your metabolism and lead to other unhealthy practices like throwing up after an episode or feelings of self-loathing.

However there are far more dire side effects for having an eating disorder and these can lead to people experiencing higher rates of mental disorders. It has been reported that up to 97% of these emotional problem can lead to co-morbid disorders. The most common of which are anxiety, depression, substance abuse and personality disorders (NEDC 2010, 2012).

Alongside these problems we can see cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, neurological symptoms and suicide attempts.

So it makes sense that if we interrupt the episode of bingeng before it even begins we stand to be both mentally and physically in better shape.

1. Pattern interrupt

If we can interrupt the process before a fully fledged ‘pig out’ has begun, then the chance of it continuing later is reduced. This, I know, is easier said than done. There is that little voice inside of us that is justifying; I will only have one, I will work it off later, I will have less dinner. Or maybe it’s saying, I deserve this, I work hard and need a treat, and there won’t be the chance to have this particular food/circumstance again.

This voice can be really strong and persuasive. So we need to be able to interrupt it early on. One way to do this is with a different positive internal conversation/or focus. I don’t mean doing an affirmation, but rather finding a more compelling reason to delay the binge.

For example thoughts like; I want to eat a lovely meal out later in the week, I really enjoy feeling energised. Yay I can buy that item of clothing even sooner, or won’t my friends be impressed when they notice the new me. Some sort of focus that has a goal, a measurable outcome that you can imagine instantly, and use it to interrupt the voice that wants to binge.

Positive dialogue is compelling to motivate us and if we can interrupt that ‘tempting’ conversation as soon as possible then the likelihood of eating excessively will be reduced in that moment.

 2. Use negativity to your advantage.

Occasionally we need to use a bit of negative internal dialogue to back up the positive if said desire is really strong. I try to encourage people to emote this. By that I mean to create as much emotion as possible around the negative. The stronger the feelings we can create the more intense the belief in the experience.

If you can really focus on how bad the inflammation will be if you eat a lot of sugar, or how sick you may feel and lethargic then the likely hood of wanting the food is reduced. By really investing and remembering the bloated, cramping feelings or maybe just the self-loathing experienced after your last episode of binge eating your desire to repeat this can be dramatically altered.

Have you ever burnt yourself on the stove or an iron? I bet that the next time you are handling similar equipment you are extremely careful not to repeat the experience and pain. You can probably remember the hurt and how exactly you did it. You may use a different burner, turn the hot item away from you, or make sure the surface is even more stable. This is how we learn, from experience and we have the ability to use similar strategy’s with our eating.

What did you eat, how much did you eat, why did you eat it and then how crappy did you feel after it? Were you annoyed you broke your flow of healthy eating? Did you feel the heaviness of overindulging?

If you have put these feelings and emotions with the positive interrupt above then you have really ramped up the capacity of avoid over indulging.

3.  Make it Unappealing

 The final quick interrupt is to imagine the food is really gross and disgusting. Perhaps you imagine it has been covered in flies. Yes I know this is the least appealing interrupt technique. But if your goals are to feel healthy, energetic, be in your desired weight range and the positive and negative conversations are not quite enough to stop the cravings, then this little action will amp it up even more.

As you think about putting whatever the fancy of the moment is in your mouth, I want you to imagine that it was left out in the heat and several big blowflies were sitting on it. Really invest in picturing that and how germ filled the food will be. Remind yourself how you could get really sick and what that feels like. Now notice how appealing the food is. Hopefully really UNappealing!.

Do you really want to put something so foul in your mouth?

To summarise

These 3 little hacks or pattern interruptions can be enough to stop you bingeing and make you feel more in control. By doing them regularly you get better at interrupting the urge to “pig-out”. You get better at making healthier choices and develop a healthier neural pathway or habit.

The food will not dominate your life. These hacks will give you a quick fix allowing more time and opportunity to explore any other issues that may lead you to self-sabotage your health, your weight and your wellbeing.

 

Unconscious Habits

Unconscious habits

Who is controlling your Health?

I put it to you that much of what we do around our health and wellbeing we do without even realizing it.

If we inspect the meaning of doing things unconsciously it reflects the process of our mind that we do without even knowing. These processes we do automatically, without introspection and when we do them often enough they become a habit, and we establish a neural pathway.

Now so many things we do without much thought or effort, and this is ok.  After all it enables us to communicate, look after ourselves, and protect us from burns, cold, drive without re-learning every rule or gear.

Our unconscious habits

But what happens when our habits are sabotaging our health?

What happens when our habits wreak havoc on our wellbeing?

These automatic responses that maybe we developed to show love, cope with stress, anxiety, depression that involve food, being sedentary, shutting down emotionally now are destroying lives.

If our coping mechanism to dealing with life’s turmoils is to turn to food then all that really results is a gain in weight, blood pressure and more threatening illnesses.

Self Esteem

How many times have I had clients come to me for muffin stress eating, of trying to reduce boredom with chocolate, chip cravings, or a doughnut addiction?  These food are eaten without much thought being given to them.  This then becomes a habit, a response where suddenly we find our face in the pantry and chomping away on food that offers no nutritional value, little emotional solace and even less companionship.

If we do this often enough, we establish a neural pathway which then becomes our go-to behaviour.

What if we re-wire our neural pathways and alter these habits with healthier alternatives to respond?

Re-Wire your Responses

Instead of eating find a new habit.

Discover a more appealing future version of you that is so exciting that the food doesn’t come up on our radar. Our new healthier, motivated, excited version enjoys food but doesn’t need it as a distraction.

This new you is in control, not reliant on anyone else.  Feels great, and makes choices rather than responses. This version of you can clearly picture how they want to be.  It may seem a challenge at first, but we didn’t develop unhealthy, automatic unhealthy responses in a day either.

Weight gain due to mindset

We are reward focused but what’s your real gain?

It’s just our nature to be reward focused but what is your real reward for continually not moving, not exercising?

Basically, the how-to of exercise and dieting is covered extensively throughout the internet. If you are thinking is this another weight loss blog, discussing how much weight did I gain in what time frame or maybe you are pondering “how I am going to talk about losing those extra centimetres. I am here to put those thoughts to rest as they are pretty pointless.

If you have read my other blogs, we have established it is your mindset that really screws up your success of weight loss.  In this instance I want you to challenge yourself with the thought of “what am I really gaining”.

Is Your Gain obvious to you?

Let’s discuss why you may not want to exercise.

What is really preventing you from not getting out there and moving? I think it is better to start with moving than training as the association with training can be sweaty gym clothes and loads of mirrors. Not to mention disillusionment with tuck shop arms on full display. Ughh!  Whereas if we are moving we are burning calories and maybe even enjoying it. Possibly with no judgment even from ourselves.

So are you getting off your butt and moving?

If so how much?

If not and let’s face it according to the Heart Foundation at 2014/15 65.3% of the population is sedentary or doing low levels of movement, you will be with the majority. What I want to ask you is why?

What is the hidden payoff when we don’t exercise?

I am going to put it to you that if you fall into the low moving or sedentary group that there is some benefit you are gaining from this.  Take a moment to ponder why you are disinclined to even move.

Maybe you feel that it makes you a better parent and if you exercise you won’t be present for the kids or your partner.

It could be that you prefer to sit and watch your favourite program. Maybe you are like a cousin of mine, enjoying watching the biggest loser with a tub of ice-cream in her lap. Happily removed from the moving and sweating activity and preferring the watching to doing.

Perhaps your gain is like the old smokers gain.  Not so much about the stress relief or even the habit but the social context.  I worked with someone that had given up smoking but started again in her 50’s because it reminded her of a naughtier, younger more carefree version of herself.

Whatever the reason, I suggest that it could be that what you are gaining from not moving is feeling more compelling to you.

Sometimes this gain is so powerful that we don’t even recognize it and in a different blog, I will tackle limiting beliefs a bit more.  For now, though I want you to think about what is your gain?

Is it worth it?

With a sedentary lifestyle becoming the “new smoking” I challenge you to really think about is this lack of movement worth it.

Maybe the gain is a distraction from life’s stresses, maybe it provides comfort, and perhaps it allows you to have a different internal dialogue that takes you away from the real issues that are bothering you.  For example “if I don’t exercise I can stay feeling lethargic and justifiably stay at home” “I couldn’t possibly enter a new relationship being this overweight (and new relationships can be a way scarier alternative)”

It really doesn’t matter what the gain is. Usually, it isn’t just that that ‘pizza is delicious hit me with the extra cheese’; but that there is actually some reward in your mindset programming those neural pathways in a really unhealthy manner.  By now that mindset may be so ingrained that it has become a habit, and you do it without even thinking about it.

So what is your gain? Once you know that, it is much easier to find a strategy to help change those unhealthy food habits.

 

 

 

If you don’t mind, it does matter

If you don’t mind, it does matter

What is going on in your mind?

Is your mindset setting you up for triumphant success or leading you down the path to misery?  It has been reliably proven that what we think really matters to our health.

Sure I know the importance of diet and exercise but, as a trainer, what is never addressed is why some people are more successful than others. Why does the weight refuses to move or why the incentives advertised are unsuccessful in getting people active?! This is because they leave real issues are left unaddressed.

You have probably seen the latest and greatest diets being advertised, the fanciest and easiest way to store equipment or even four week exercise programs full of promise. Only to find yourself a few months down the track, asking; where are the promised results?

How we self-sabotage

We have the unique capability to sabotage ourselves with our thinking, without even knowing it!

Just as we can successfully create businesses, families, homes or holiday experiences, we also have the ability to quite often unconsciously sabotage our wellbeing.  This is the crucial factor not dealt with that, in my opinion, is causing so many to be unsuccessful.

The things we put into our minds sometimes without even realising it are creating neural pathways leading to habits that keep us going back for those fluffy muffins, salty french-fries and succulent chocolates. Interrupting these pathways can lead to some real weight changes. Don’t interrupt them and, in the words of my old boss and Henry Ford, “do what you have always done, get what you have always got”!

Imagine if those were healthy habits

I don’t know what tickles your fancy but, if it is unhealthy food habits, imagine what your life would be like if you could change them, imagine finding that extra vitality you’ve been looking for.

Clients frequently complain “I don’t want to just eat lettuce or exercise 2 hours every day” to which I reply; do you need a treat every day?

Reframe game – you do mind

One of the simpler tools I use in dealing with those patterns of unhealthy practices is the reframing of current practices. I do want you to mind, as it will matter if not now then down the track, that no one expects you to have a “lettuce diet” or train like the “Biggest Loser”. But, by just changing our thoughts to, if I train a half hour a day and enjoy my juicy burger as a sometimes food. You can feel good, have a healthy weight and have energy without feeling like you are denying myself.